Collections of hand-picked page-turners are being delivered direct to residents’ doorsteps during lockdown thanks to Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Home Library Service.
More than 200 booklovers across the borough have signed up for the scheme, which sees a member of the Council’s libraries team compiling a bespoke selection of books after contacting each customer to discuss their literary likes and dislikes.
To ensure the service contributes to the fight against COVID-19, every book is cleaned and quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours and recipients are called ahead of delivery to ensure they are well and still wish to receive their selection.
Deliveries and collections are then made by a single person who follows strict guidance on hygiene and social distancing.
How it works
- Vulnerable resident registers with the Home Library Service
- Librarian contacts resident to discuss their favourite (and least-favourite) genres and authors
- Librarian uses this information and their own knowledge to compile a selection of books they think will be of interest
- Books are cleaned – especially important if they have a plastic dust jacket – and quarantined for 72 hours
- Library staff call resident to check they are well and still want the delivery
- Staff member drives books to resident’s doorstep, rings the bell and steps back to maintain two-metre distance
- After one month, the books are collected and exchanged for a fresh selection. Anything not read can be renewed and kept for another month.
Cllr Catherine Faulks, Lead Member for Skills and Enterprise, said:
“Getting lost in a good book is a great source of enjoyment and it’s heartening that our Home Library Service is bringing this pleasure to some of our most vulnerable residents during these unprecedented times.
“From our #TogetherKandC campaign to providing activity packs for children and families, we have worked hard to keep all of our residents informed and entertained throughout the lockdown, whatever their age or interests.”
The Home Library Service runs all year round and is open to elderly and vulnerable residents, including the vulnerable shielded group contacted by the NHS
The service encompasses books – including large print versions – audiobooks and music.
There is no charge for Home Library Service members to borrow audiobooks or music and there are also no late fees for overdue items
Vulnerable residents can apply for the service by emailing email@example.com or calling 020 7341 0721
Residents can discover the latest news from the libraries team by following any of its social media accounts or downloading the My Library app.
#TogetherKandC is the Council’s curated online collection of activities for residents of all ages. Search #TogetherKandC on Twitter for more information.